It has been twenty long days since I stepped into this realm. An almost three-week adventure I endured but every day I continued to edit my novel and every day I read.
I had a break from blogging. I love the online engagement but it was school holidays and I needed the space from blogging to return with more enthusiasm.
So, what did I do during my break? Here is a rough list of my achieved goals.
- Close to finishing the second round of edits for my novel, I mean really close.
- I finished the first book in the Memory, Thorn and Sorrow Series by Tad Williams
- I completed several editing and writing short-courses.
- My financeê and I secured a date and venue for our wedding; and
- We went camping.
The reason why I emphasise lists and goals is that sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what we have achieved. We get caught up in the goals we set, deadlines, daily routines and unplanned life distractions but if we remind ourselves of what we have achieved, it can help us move forward and motivate you to complete more or stay on task.
Concentrating on your creative work can be hard – especially when you’re starting out or if the ideas aren’t flowing. It’s all too easy to get sidetracked and let procrastination distract you.
But getting distracted can have a real negative impact on your work – and your determination to finish. Using what we have achieved can keep that focus and prevent distractions and take control of your creative projects.
The more control you can have over your physical environment, your schedule and your writing mindset – the less likely your mind will wander.
ACTION: Take a break — but do it on your own terms
Taking regular breaks isn’t necessarily harmful for your concentration but being unwittingly distracted is. So, it’s best to take breaks on your own terms.
“The best way to conquer procrastination isn’t pushing your writing through willpower and gritted teeth, but to develop a system which keeps you writing and the distractions at bay.”
By staying in control and deliberately switching to a pleasurable and rewarding activity when you feel your concentration is starting to slide, so try:
Instead of waiting to get distracted, identify something you do when you get distracted (like scroll through Facebook or play Pokémon Go) then deliberately plan in 15 minutes of ‘distraction time’ into your writing schedule.
This will mean you’re less like to ‘become distracted’ as you know you have a 15-minute bout of play time coming up. Plus your reserves of concentration don’t get depleted, so you’re able to stay focused on your writing for longer.
Have you got a system to help your concentration through writing?
What have you achieved in July?